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Sudan, Darfur armed groups to meet in Berlin next week: chief negotiator

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November 28, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government said it would meet with the Darfur rebel movements next week in Berlin to agree on the general framework of the upcoming round of talks.

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Head of government delegation for talks for peace in Darfur Amin Hassan Omer speaks to reporters in Addis Ababa on Friday 20 November 2015 (ST Photo)

Sudan’s Presidential Envoy for Diplomatic Contact and Negotiation for Darfur Amin Hassan Omer told the semi-official Sudan Media Center that the government would meet with an African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) envoy in Khartoum next week to discuss the resumption of Darfur talks.

He pointed out that the Berlin meeting would determine the date of the upcoming talks as well as the requirements set forth by the AUHIP.

Omer said the parties agreed to hold the next round of talks in Doha, adding a date to resume the talks could be set after consulting with the AUHIP envoy.

The UK Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Christopher Trott, in a Tweet posted on Monday, said he learned that the mediation plans to convene for a meeting between the Sudanese parties in December.

The consultations for the resumption of negotiations with the armed groups in Darfur marked some progress as the government and the two groups involved in the process: Sudan Liberation Movement-Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) led by Gibril Ibrahim, are prepared to sign a pre-negotiation agreement.

The government and the armed groups in Darfur held several meetings in Berlin earlier this year to discuss a framework agreement (pre-negotiation agreement) before to engage in the peace talks.

The government had refused a demand made by the rebels to establish a new mechanism to implement the future peace agreement. However, Khartoum recently informed the German and U.S. facilitators they are no longer opposed to this mechanism.

After a recent meeting held in Addis Ababa on 22-23 November, the African Union’s Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) said the leaders of JEM and SLM-MM initialled the draft framework agreement for the peace talks.

The Sudanese army has been fighting the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-N) rebels in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan since 2011 and a number of armed movements in Darfur since 2003.

The AUHIP is brokering comprehensive peace talks to end the war and achieve democratic reforms. The two-track process comprises the Sudanese government and opposition forces including the armed groups in Darfur and the Two Areas.

Germany had signed a strategic partnership agreement with the AUHIP at the end of 2014, allowing it to work with the Sudanese parties to facilitate a process aiming to bring peace and achieve democratic transformation in the east African nation.

(ST)

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